The International Criminal Court alleges that the former interior minister in charge of Darfur organized and funded the Janjaweed, the Arab militia force behind the brutal violence in the region. Ahmed Haroun says he has a clear conscience, according to the BBC, though he and the Janjaweed militia leader are charged with 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The problem? Sudan refuses to give up the suspects, claiming that the ICC has no jurisdiction. Here’s what the ICC (founded in 2002 by the UN) says about the kind of cases it deals with:
The Court has a mandate to try individuals rather than States and to hold them accountable for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community – genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and, eventually, the crime of aggression. […]
As set out in the Statute, crimes against humanity include crimes such as the extermination of civilians, enslavement, torture, rape, forced pregnancy, persecution on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or gender grounds, and enforced disappearances – but only when they are part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.
While I’m usually predisposed towards governments handling their own criminals, given the nature and scale of the violence in the region, I’d say it’s about time for the ICC to step in.
The officers are suspected of falsely claiming that the man they had killed was a Pakistani militant, which made them eligible to receive handsome cash rewards from the government.
This is a good start, but last time I remember, authorities suspected more than five of these types of killings – all of these should be investigated, and those responsible should be held to their actions.